Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz carved out the right to defend his title when he beat Canada’s Braeden Moskowy by 6-5 in the men’s semi-final of the World Junior Curling Championships, in Perth, Scotland, on Saturday evening.
The Swiss now go onto face a Swedish team skipped by Oskar Eriksson who had earlier won the Page 1 versus 2 Play-off, with a chance to become the first foursome in the event’s history to achieve repeat wins.
The semi-final was tight all the way, and eventually came down to a nerveless precision draw with the last stone of the tenth end by Swiss fourth player Benoit Schwarz, who found the way onto the button inside a collection of stones.
About that shot, Schwarz said, “I feel great. I just wanted to be sure that the shot was not too long in order to give the sweepers a chance, they had to do the work and they did it really well”.
More generally, Schwarz’s delighted skip de Cruz said, “It feels amazing to be back for the final. We’ve had sort of an up and down week. We’ve had some really good games and some not so good. We knew what we were able to do, and we were hoping that in one semi-final we could play at that level, and that’s what we did, the guys played great”.
Speaking about his opponents, he said, “the Canadians were amazing. They had a lot of pressure on them, had a difficult start and to pick themselves up was amazing”.
Looking forward to the gold medal game against Sweden he said, “we’re going to try to control the final a bit more, control the tactics. We were falling too much into their tactic (in the round-robin game). If we can put that together, then we’ll have chances”.
Following his amazing recovery from losing his first three round-robin games, Canadian skip Braeden Moskowy was devastated as his gold medal campaign was ended.
He said, “close ...we took the defending world champs right down to the last shot and we made them draw the pin, so kudos to them”.
About Schwarz’s final draw he said, “that was a hell of a shot. That’s why they’re the world champs, they make shots like that, they’re a great team and they’re a great bunch of guys. If you want to win this thing, you’ve got to make shots like that and obviously he can”.
Moskowy now faces Norway for bronze, and he admitted that, immediately after such a crushing loss, he was finding it hard to get up for that game. “A bronze will be nice I guess, but we didn’t come here for a bronze medal, we came here for the gold and we’re not leaving here with that, so it’s a funny feeling, that’s for sure”.
In the women’s semi-final, Canada’s Trish Paulsen beat Russia’s Anna Sidorova by 9-7, thanks largely to scores of threes in the second, fourth and eighth ends.
As a result, the Canadians will face local girl Eve Muirhead of Scotland in Sunday afternoon’s sell-out final.
Afterwards, Paulsen said, “I missed a key draw for four in the second which kind of took the wind out of my sails for a little bit but after that we just kept rolling and, yes, the threes do tell the story, we played really well. I think the girls put pressure on the front end for the whole game, and the back end as well. They played great, but they just missed a few key shots and we capitalised on that.”
Looking forward to the final against Scotland, she said, “it’s going to be a great game. When we played Scotland in the round robin we had a great game against them to win and I don’t expect anything less than that”.
Now, as Canada and Scotland battle it out for the title, Russia will play current world champions Sweden for bronze.
Junior Women’s Standings after Semi-final:
5. USA 5-5
6. Switzerland 5-5
7. Norway 4-5
8. Japan 3-6
9. Czech Republic 3-6
10. France 1-8
Women, semi-final: Russia 8, Canada 9.
Junior Men’s Standings after Semi-final
5. Scotland 5-4
6. USA 4-5
7. China 4-5
8. Finland 3-6
9. Czech Republic 1-8
10. Denmark 1-8
Men, semi-final: Switzerland 6, Canada 5.
Men’s Bronze: Norway v Canada – 09:00 (local) Sunday
Men’s Final/Gold: Sweden v Switzerland – 09:00 (local) Sunday - LIVE WEBCAST
Women’s Bronze: Sweden v Russia 13:00 (local) Sunday
Women’s Final/Gold: Scotland v Canada – 13:00 (local) Sunday – LIVE WEBCAST
Event website: http://www.wjcc2011.com
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2011
Results are mirrored on the WCF results database: http://results.worldcurling.org/default.aspx
Live webcast: http://www.worldcurling.org/wjcc-2011-web-coverage